I’ve some progress to share after only two days of reducing social media. I’m not constantly checking my phone for no reason 8,000 times a day instead of engaging with the people, and the entire world, in front of me. I’m feeling less listless and more present as a result. But I also fought the urge to take photos and capture my random deep thoughts and share them with whomever the algorithm allows to see my content. I logged on a few times via my phone’s web browser, for no good reason other than just ‘cuz. However, I only did so half the amount of times that I did yesterday, so that is a small victory as I withdrawal from incessant dopamine hits.
Let me backup and say: I haven’t fully quit social media, nor have I announced on social media that I’m O-U-T. Well, I almost did make that lofty proclamation but slyly redacted! I thought it would be cute and super meta to share yesterday’s blog on FB and IG, but then I knew I will inevitably boomerang back. So, I deleted the posts like I deleted the apps. I begrudgingly faced the stark reality that I would likely never fully leave social media. And I know I’m not alone, either. I have seen so many of my fully capable and lovely pals publicly bid an embittered and total farewell to FB or IG but could not absolutely escape the clutches of social media’s allure. Needless to say, they returned. Sometimes within hours (like me), sometimes within days, sometimes within weeks; but always: eventually.
Remember in my last post how I mentioned the illusion of choice…to leave social media? Well, let’s be real: There’s just no leaving something that everyone uses as a main point of contact. I can take a break when I feel exceptionally broken but leaving social media completely equals no contact with too many people I love. Can I sacrifice that distant connection? Probably not because I don’t feel confident they’d reach out without FB Messenger or IG. At the same time, I shake my fist at my laptop screen because I will never understand what is so damn hard about good old fashioned texting. Or the dreaded phone call. Gasp! For whatever reason, many folks make a choice to allow social media to take over their methods of contact, and I don’t think that is changing any time soon.
By the way, I am fighting the urge to check FB on my laptop as I type this right now and chomp on dark chocolate. I’ll attempt to absorb myself in its silky flavor instead of the abstract impulse to shift to a place where I never get what I’m now realizing I always wish to receive: a ghost message from my dead love.
We originally met on FB, so there’s that. We were “friends” for a couple of years, and one day, he messaged me. We hit it off and stayed in touch for a while before our in-person rendezvous-vous. I don’t know how to feel about the fact that FB Messenger was our first meeting place. At first, we marveled at the luck. Had we met at all just 10 years sooner? We knew a couple of people mutually, but what was the likelihood of all of us being in the same place at the same time? I don’t really know. What made it palatable was how we’d LOL at the realization we were always in each other’s pockets despite the 315 miles of distance and one country border between us. I still have the first three months of our messages, which is over 130,000 words of curiosity, secrets, and budding love. I am so grateful I still have all of that because the rest is history. Meaning: It’s gone. I deleted every text thereafter except the last few texts before he died. I am so glad those last few days of our interaction are documented. I don’t feel like going into what happened, but let’s just say, it was complicated. But it was never hateful! It was momentary confusion followed by stupidity on my part. In the end, no love was lost and all was restored. We had made plans over FB, yet again. But I was unable to get the day off work when we were meant to meet, which was on the day he died.
And so that is probably the real reason I can’t stand social media, but I also can’t seem to stay away from it. I keep hoping he’ll beg me to meet him in Washington state, send me a sad song that shows how he’s feeling about our plight, or confess his deepest heart and soul to me. And since I don’t get that, I just scroll and scroll with an uncontrollable urge to connect to someone who is no longer there.